Monday, May 02, 2005

Mowerly Musings (a la AJ)

In imitation of AJ, here is what I was thinking about as I weedwhacked my yard yesterday afternoon.
  • "Mom, it's stupid to mow a plane with a point." I could never get Melina or Zed to help me with this job. They just can't believe I work my weedwhacker across this large area, back and forth, back and forth.

    I've tried mower-things with wheels, but the ground is so uneven, a robot with legs would be better. Oh, wait, I have legs!

    I'm convinced after nine years that this is the best and perhaps only way other than a scythe to take down knee-high green matter, much of which is not grass, on a bumpy irregular hillside. Still, the mocking and logical words of my daughter ring in my ears every time.

  • I was still musing over Helen Mirren in Prime Suspect, the subject of a heated disagreement between me and my ex-boyfriend earlier in the day.

    Mirren is work-driven Detective Chief Inspector Jane Tennison, heading up her first murder investigation in a department full of guys who hate working for a woman and try to trip her up at every turn. The question: is it ok for Tennison to PROMISE to make dinner and then stay late at work anyway?

    I told Earl I was angry with Tennison because she kept making promises to her husband and then not keeping them. Knowing she very well may break the promise, she makes it all the same.

    But Earl says: "it's understood that she intends to keep her promise if she can, but sometimes things come up." I was almost shouting that people shouldn't make promises unless they are SURE they can keep them. I hate it when people promise their kids: "I'll always protect you, I won't let anything happen to you." In real life, a parent who makes a promise like this is not necessarily a goner (while in the movies this vow is ALWAYS followed by death), but good intentions are thwarted by life's vagaries.

    Earl said I am too harsh. Perhaps it's true, there is a medieval austerity to my ideal of a promise.

  • Mirren reminded me of another actress magnificent in middle-age, Glynis Johns, and her scratchy, breathy, out-of-tune rendition of Sondheim's "Send in the Clowns" which outdid any that came afterwards. I HATE the way people over-emote in that song, they should just let it be.

    "A Little Night Music" was the first musical I played for in the pit orchestra. I was a senior in college and got teary every night, and it's not ridiculous for a teenager to sing this music, because even a young person can experience the wasteland of heartbreak.

    The song is built around a magnificent metaphor: in the harsh world of the circus, when one of their own is hurt in performance it's understood the audience must be diverted at all costs. At a desperate moment, clowns are sent out to caper for the marks and hide the anguish from them.

  • Then I groused some more about mowing a plane with a point, and mourned the daisies, buttercups, ajuga, bluets, and violets I was slaying as I swathed along.

  • Then I thought about how happy Zed was Saturday night, dressing for the prom, and how nice it was that he allowed me (in a borrowed car, because he was borrowing mine) to come to his date's house and take pictures of them, and how sweet and shy and pretty she looked in her nice dress and how happy they looked together, and how happy and content he was the next day.

    Since I was alone, the following prayer was not on my lips but was in my thought-balloon. It expresses gratitude for living to see something we weren't sure we'd ever see - which as a matter of fact, happens every day if we're lucky.

    Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu melekh ha’olam, sheheheyanu,
    v’kiy’manu v’higi’anu laz’man hazeh.
    Praised are You, God, Ruler of the universe,
    Who has sustained us and enabled us to reach this day.
Then I turned off the weedwhacker, peeled off my grassy clothes, and came inside to feed my blog.

Is this how you do it, AJ?

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At 10:21 AM, Blogger Badaunt said...

I'm with you on the promises thing, which is probably why I rarely make promises.

At 2:13 PM, Blogger AJ said...

Wow! We seem to be on the same page a lot more than in just the context of a post title! The whole promise thing has been big in my mind lately, as I recently wrote about.

And thanks for the props. You've done the concept exceptional justice! And yeah, that's pretty much how I do it, except that I carry a pen and folded-up piece of paper in my pocket so I can stop and jot down a bullet-point or two as they come to mind. Otherwise they usually congeal into a big mass that I might not be able to separate later.

But I *really* would perhaps want to think about acquiring a pet sheep as an option to weed-whacking an entire yard... ;)

At 1:07 AM, Blogger Kimberly said...

My husband Paul was out weed-whacking our entire bumpy yard over the weekend, and wrote a funny post about it. I don't think the he noticed some of the small soon-to-be-flowering plants that he took down along with the dandelions and crabgrass; while I lamented their loss, the overall improvement was worth it.

During my senior year of high school, my voice teacher had me sing 'Send in the Clowns.' My aunt, a professional musician who was also his accompanist, said that I was too young to really do it justice. I think she was right at the time. By the end of college I'd experienced plenty of heartbreak, but it wasn't until I was in my late 30's that I felt like I really got that song.

I don't make promises often, either. I have to know that I'll be able to keep them.

Paul came out with me early yesterday morning to raise the sun, and I said my own prayer of gratitude that he was there with me this year. I'm so glad that Zed had fun at his prom, and that you got to see that.


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